Category Archives: Biomass

Steam powered farm tractors

Preface. Steam engines weren’t very efficient, 10 to 20% at best, which is why they went away beginning around 1920 when oil-powered engines came along.  At the very best steam engines for transportation reached 10 to 20% efficiency. They were … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass-powered Steam Engines | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Charcoal for the high heat needed in manufacturing after peak oil

Preface. De Decker (2011) writes: “A large share of energy consumed worldwide is by heat. Cooking, space heating and water heating dominate domestic energy consumption. In the UK, these activities account for 85% of domestic energy use, in Europe for … Continue reading

Posted in Industrial Heat, Peak Biofuels, Wood | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Wood, the fuel of preindustrial societies, is half of EU renewable energy

Preface: By far the largest so-called renewable fuel used in Europe is wood. In its various forms, from sticks to pellets to sawdust, wood (or to use its fashionable name, biomass) accounts for about half of Europe’s renewable-energy consumption. Although … Continue reading

Posted in Wood | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

European Power plants are burning American forests

Preface.   Incredibly, this article doesn’t address the fact that after you cut down a forest and convert the wood into pellets destined to be burned in European furnaces for “clean energy”, the next forest won’t grow back with nearly as … Continue reading

Posted in CO2 and Methane, Deforestation, Wood | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Book review of Underbug: an obsessive tale of termites and technology

Preface.  I read this book mainly to find out where “grassoline” stood. Scientists thought 10 years ago that we could recreate the termite biota system of digesting biomass to create biofuels.  But this appears to be far in the future … Continue reading

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60 minutes promotes biomass scam

Preface. Hey 60 minutes, do some fact checking first. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, Far Out | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Book: John Perlin’s “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization”

Preface.  This contains excerpts from John Perlin’s “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization”. It’s one of my favorite books about natural resources, exploring the role wood has played in the rise and fall of civilizations since they … Continue reading

Posted in Collapse of Civilizations, Collapsed, Deforestation, Life Before Oil, Limits To Growth, Peak Resources, Soil, Wood | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Power density of biomass, wind, & solar take too much land to replace fossil fuels

Preface. Vaclav Smil writes “The fact that wind, solar, and biomass have incredibly low energy density per square meter means that a fully renewable system to replace the 320 GW of fossil fueled electricity generation and 1.8 TW of coal, … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Biomass, Coal, Hydropower, Natural Gas, Oil | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vaclav Smil on wood

[ I’ve extracted bits about wood from Smil’s book about materials below, read the book for the larger context.  Enormous amounts of wood were used in former civilizations with much smaller populations than today, so it’s clear we can’t go … Continue reading

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Overview of the renewable fuel standard, U.S. House hearing 2013

House 113-61. June 26, 2013. Overview of the renewable fuel standard: Government perspectives. House of Representatives. [Excerpts from the 104 page transcript follow] Key points: The implicit premise that cellulosic and other advanced biofuels would be available in significant quantities … Continue reading

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